Handling the Media in a Crisis

This crisis communication course covers how to take control of media communication following a negative news event. You will learn to activate crisis systems and develop positioning rapidly, take charge of the news media, and manage the online space. Topics include crisis protocols and rapid message creation.

This course is available both live online and face-to-face.

  • Face to face (London) | One day | £675 +VAT
  • Face to face (Dubai) | One day | Media One Hotel | $795 +VAT
  • Live online (Zoom) | Two half-days | 10:00-14:00 London time | $795

Also available on request in US / Asia timezones.

This course runs in English. It is also available on request in Arabic, Dutch or French.

Course outline

Crisis preparation

This module covers how to plan and prepare for a crisis.

  • Three stages of crisis management
  • Systems and preparation before a crisis
  • Mapping issues
  • Enabling factors for rapid response

Crisis response and positioning

This module covers how to create and deploy effective and appropriate core messaging for negative news events.

  • Universal principles of crisis messaging
  • Response process in a crisis
  • Proforma positioning
  • Techniques for rapid message development
  • Best practice examples of crisis response and positioning

The media in a crisis

This module covers how to engage with the press in the high-pressure scenario of a reputational crisis.

  • How journalists cover crises
  • Crisis news angles
  • News dynamics in a crisis
  • Strategic engagement with journalists in a crisis

Messaging, statements and Q&As

This module covers how to develop all of the essential crisis communications collateral needed when engaging with the media.

  • Crisis messaging best practice
  • Developing pro-forma crisis messages
  • Press releases vs statements in a crisis
  • Creating pro-forma Q&A documents
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Meet your trainers

Following are some of the ISOC trainers who regularly lead this course, depending whether you join us in London, Dubai or live online. 

Trainer profile: Will Hardie

Will is a communication strategist, advisor and coach with more than 20 years’ experience working in more than 50 countries. He studied Experimental Psychology for a Master’s at Oxford and later journalism and politics in the U.S. Will joined Reuters news agency as a graduate trainee reporter and took a series of postings in Brussels, Stockholm and Belgrade. As a foreign correspondent he specialised in financial and economic news and reported on a wide range of high-profile breaking news stories. He covered major international summits, interviewed ministers, heads of state, CEOs and other senior executives, and managed regional teams of journalists. Back in London Will co-founded Pinnacle PR, a global communications consultancy, and the International School of Communication, a specialist professional training company. Will is one of the world’s leading communications advisors. He has executed large projects to create communication strategies and systems for national governments and major corporations. For six years, he was the chief advisor to the head of communications in the office of a well-known Prime Minister. He has counselled hundreds of cabinet ministers, senior politicians, CEOs and other senior executives across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He specialises in executive coaching, media training, crisis communication, strategic messaging and communication strategy development. He has led long-term projects to develop top-level communication strategies for Federal and National governments and written crisis plans and positioning for global top-500 companies. Will is currently based in Dubai where he divides his time between managing ISOC and delivering consulting and training projects worldwide.

Trainer profile: Adam Kirtley

Adam is a veteran presenter and reporter with more than 30 years' experience as a BBC journalist. He presents on BBC local and national and radio, including  Five Live business show Wake Up to Money and Radio Four's flagship consumer show You and Yours. He still reports for the BBC World Service, where he began his career. Adam has interviewed numerous bankers, finance ministers and CEOs during his BBC career, and for the last 15 years has used that experience to train executives in media interviews, crisis communication, public speaking, presentation skills and messaging. He is also an accomplished conference facilitator and workshop leader. Adam has worked across Europe, the Middle East, North America and Africa for organisations of all sizes, from multinational finance and pharmaceutical companies to governments and NGOs.

Trainer profile: Sarah Cocker

Sarah is a dynamic communicator with over 20 years’ experience in media, finance and business. Her international experience in banking, and as one of CNBC’s key anchors, makes her at ease dealing with leaders and experts from industry, government and academia. A skilled listener and coach, Sarah enjoys working with clients to help them define and achieve their objectives. Her coaching experience includes training blue-chip executives in public speaking and techniques for challenging television interviews. Her international career has given her an understanding of the cultural and working practices in the Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America.

What you will learn

After this course you will be able to:

  • Manage your organisation’s communication during and after an event that threatens its reputation
  • Create crisis messages, positioning and response tactics response rapidly and decisively
  • Engage confidently with journalists and in online social media at the height of a negative news crisis
  • Represent your organisation effectively even in the most challenging of crisis interviews

Who should attend?

This is an intermediate-level course designed for anyone who may be involved in managing the communications response to a crisis affecting their organisation, either behind the scenes or as a spokesperson.